Excessive Movement Between the Curt A20 5th Wheel Hitch and 5th Wheel Trailer King Pin

Question:

I bought this hitch this spring to pull our new 5th wheel toy hauler with our F-350 and there is much more slop in the jaw/pin than any 5th wheel Ive ever pulled there doesnt seem to be a adjustment bolt on the front of the hitch like most of the other 5th wheel hitches Ive used. Please help this is very annoying.

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Expert Reply:

First, make sure that the jaws are fully closing around the king pin and that they are locked into place. If not then that would be why you are experiencing so much movement. If they are fully closing and locking then it is possible that the movement is actually coming from somewhere else such as at the connection between the head and the center section or the feet and the OEM Ford mounts.

There are some things you can look at on the hitch to determine if the jaws are not fully closing. According to Curt from the manual:

"Visually check for any signs of damage to the locking mechanism. Ensure the jaws are open and the indicator, jaw, handle and torsion springs are all attached and undamaged. If any of the springs are missing or damaged, do not attempt to use the hitch until it has been repaired.

Ensure the locking mechanism is free of excessive dirt, rust, grease, snow, ice or other foreign material preventing it from cycling properly. Clean excessive dirt, snow, or ice with warm soap water. Lightly lubricate exposed surfaces with a rust inhibitor to restore proper operation. Components with excessive amounts of rust may require replacement to restore proper functionality.

If all components are undamaged and can freely move, apply pressure to the operating handle, as if unlocking, and release. If the handle drops back to the couple position and the indicator turns "yellow," you are ready to couple.

If cycling the handle is unsuccessful, apply pressure to the front of the jaw to manually reset the locking pawl. If the handle drops to the couple position and the indicator turns "yellow," you are ready to couple."

If you are using a lube plate or a Sidewinder pin box then those things can affect the "fit" of the king pin in the jaws. A lube plate should be no thicker than 3/16 inches thick, such as # 16721. If you have a Sidewinder pin box then you may have to loosen the wedge, couple the trailer, and then reposition and tighten the wedge.

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Michael H

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